I was recently on a double date with a family member, their spouse, and an acquaintance of said spouse. The family member sold it to me as a “try it out and see what happens sort of thing” but I’m not sure if that’s how it came across to the Acquaintance. Acquaintance really seemed to think it was a Real First Date(tm) and now I have no idea how to manage this.
Basically, I’m a single female and I’ve only been completely on my own for a half a year, and I’m only just being able to define who I am and what I want. I’m really not interesting in any romantic relationships, unless the guy is a Super Amazing Fantastic Wonderful and All Around Good Guy. And Acquaintance was perfectly nice, but not enough of a Super Amazing Fantastic Wonderful and All Around Good Guy to get me out of my aggressively chosen singledom. Which is not his fault, I’m just not interested. In addition, I basically had a mini panic attack when he added me on social media after our date/not date. So where do I go from here? How do I let Acquaintance know that I’m not ready for a relationship and probably won’t be for a very long time, and it’s got nothing to do with him?
Awkward Single Lady
Dear Awkward Single Lady:
You do not have to accept this person’s social media friend request if you do not think you want to interact with him there or if it made you feel weird. You are allowed to totally ignore it, especially for now when you’re still making up your mind if you even want him in your life in a “passing acquaintance” sort of capacity.
Right now, you could tell the family member who set you up, “Thanks for thinking of me, it was nice to meet Mr. So-and-So and spend time with you, but I do not want to go on any more dates with him, and I’d prefer no more setups just now.” They might try to press you for reasons or ask why you won’t just give him a chance. You don’t have to have a convincing list of reasons, either for yourself or for them. “Don’t wanna” is the reason. See also: “Not feeling it.” “I’m really enjoying being single right now.” Keep it simple and subjective. You don’t have to win this on logical grounds. Telling a thwarted matchmaker something specific, like, “He chews with his mouth open and kept interrupting me” is just inviting them to argue with you. “He was just nervous! You’re really going to reject someone for that?” Also, it is okay to tell your relative & your spouse “no thanks” to future setups. “We’d love you to come meet our coworker, and just see how it goes!” “Thanks! But no thanks.” “Why not? You never know!” “I’m enjoying being single right now. I’ll let you know if that changes.”
Otherwise, it’s not a given that any first date will ever lead to a second date, never mind a relationship. You don’t have to test out your theory that it won’t work and it isn’t want you want, you can act on your hypothesis. You are a nice person who wants to save this guy the embarrassment and effort of reaching out again only to be rejected, and that’s admirable, but anything you do to pre-empt that will come across as presumptive. You’re not responsible if your relative & their spouse oversold the thing to him. You’re not responsible if he likes you more than you like him. You are only responsible for being true to your own desires and communicating them as cleanly as you can. Assume nothing on his part, unless he makes a direct request for another date, at which point you say, “No, thank you.”
“But I thought…”
“It was nice of Relative to introduce us, and very nice of you to come out, but I don’t want to go on more dates. Thank you for asking, though.”
“But Relative said…”
“Huh, they said that? I apologize if they’ve oversold it, that’s not cool at all, and I hate that we’re both in this awkward position. I’m so glad you talked to me directly, so we can clear the air, but I’m not interested in more dates.”
You have nothing to apologize for for being single or for saying “no thanks!” when you’re not feeling That Thing. Be kind and be direct.